Uniform 189 Recruit Journal Week 03


International Maritime Signal Flag Uniform

International Maritime Signal Flag Uniform

Formed: May 6, 2014
Graduates: June 27, 2014 

Week 03  


Divine Sundays. A time to yourself to attend chapel and prepare for the week ahead. Week zero three. Our days maybe extremely long, but goodness does it seem like the weeks are flying by. Three down Five to go. Divine hours are from 0800-1300. In that time span, we study, get uniforms and racks inspection ready, and write letters home. No classes or drilling, just time to think without CCs in our ears and eyeballs. Once divine hours ended, it was back to push-ups, drilling, running, etc. It was a drag but Sunday was fun while it lasted. Once divine hours concluded, shipmates started to slack off and unfortunately, if a few shipmates sink, we all sink. It can be unfair at times, especially when you have no control over another’s actions. But as a unit, you must motivate and communicate amongst the squadbay to reach the goals. Time is an issue. But it will not stop us from accomplishing what needs to be done. It seems impossible to focus on yourself and help others to accomplish time objectives but it can be completed. We need to focus and communicate. Everything else should fall into place.


The start if a new week, 03. We are officially out of the forming stage. Expectations are higher from Company Commanders and Uniform-189. We have to work harder. Today we also the first day of beginners swim class. A third of the class couldn’t pass the swim assessment so every morning, Monday through Friday, those individuals wake up early and report to the pool deck while the rest of the company wakes up to “Fire, Fire, Fire!”, nobody wins. We finally met our Section Commander on an intimate level. He was open and it was a delight to ask questions and receive honest answers, but he warned us about his ways. We did get a glimpse. After that we attended class. After class, while forming up, we ran into our Section Commander again, this time he did a complete 180. I have never seen so many veins all at once. It was an awful experience. In the gym today, we were in the pool with survival suits on. It was cool to learn what else the Coast Guard does in case a ship sinks. The floatation suits we comfortable, I thought I saw shipmates dozing off. Our last class for the day was on tuition assistance. It’s nice that the military is willing to give free money towards an education. It shows they not only care about you, but your family as well. Half the day was great until the female squadbay got caught joking around. In the eyes of a Company Commander, fun is not an option at boot camp. So went through the ringer. In all seriousness, time shouldn’t be wasted here at Cape May. We have a very short time frame to learn everything about the Coast Guard. There’s no time for fun and games here, and if caught, the Company Commanders will change that.



Today was rather interesting. We had three different classes, physical fitness, safety, and the Coast Guard history. Each subject was rather interesting but it was hard for shipmates to stay awake. Today is also our fourth day covering night watches from 2200-0500 in hourly shifts. Each shipmate is woken up 30 minutes prior to watch. So on average, a watch stander gets approximately gets four to five hours of sleep. Five is if you are lucky. As time flies, I know our bodies will adjust. In the meantime, we will continue to drink water. After chow, our lead company commander told us to change into our physical fitness gear and line up outside. We know automatically we are in trouble. Like recruits, we expected the worse. Instead, we walked to the track, ran/paced a mile and did some pull-ups. It was nice to see my fellow shipmates encouraging one another when someone slows down. The motivation was real and I can honestly say I have a team. After our evening run, we reported back to the squadbay to clean. I rather do that than the normal games.



Hump day. Today in the gym might have been the most intense day yet. I’m still sore. We had circuit training. The circuit training included 4 stations of 4 different workouts; it was a total body workout. In our 2 ½ weeks of training, I’ve never seen our company sweat so much. After a nice 6 minute shower, the day progressed well. We had two classes about family benefits and leave & liberty. Shipmates are starting to look like the zombies on The Walking Dead. They’re physically there, but not mentally. The night watch is really taking a toll on our sleeping pattern. Later that night, Father Fronk, a Chaplain, came for our weekly visit. The only movies titles we knew were Godzilla and Spiderman, other titles made me feel like a Martian. We miss the outside world. We are detached from worldly things, we feed our minds with Coast Guard knowledge constantly. A weakness we have is making time objectives. We’re still trying to have patience with one another. A few shipmates received records of counseling for things we’ve been doing that we shouldn’t be. Now that we know these mistakes and have to suffer the consequences, we will work harder.


Currently thunder storming and raining. We had our first class at Seamanship today. The walks are forever and a day, but the views are nice. Our first seamanship class was on terminology. I never knew there were so many parts to a ship. When we returned to the squadbay, we met our time objectives. We spoke with authority and didn’t have a hard time this evening. We got a chance to drill with our pieces. That’s always a treat. When things go well for too long, something is bound to happen. While the CC was completing some paper work in his office, all we had to do was stand and wait for further instructions. That does not mean smile and talk, just stand there, A couple of shipmates were cracking jokes with know the CC silently made his way into the squadbay. The entire company had to pay for a shipmate deficiency. When on fails, we all fail. When one lacks military bearing, we are pay because we are expected to check each other. We should’ve told him to save it for later but instead we let it slide. Another lesson learned the hard way.



Fridays are bittersweet. It’s motivating to see a company graduate. It gives us motivation to keep pushing, not only for ourselves but for family, friends, and to serve our country. Then you have your forming companies, who look lost and scared to meet their new CCs. It always takes me back to my days starting out here in Cape May; scared, doubtful, but ready to learn. This week went by pretty fast; it’s hard to believe we are halfway there. I’m noticing cohesiveness in our company. Communication is key. We went to seamanship again today to learn about tying knots.  Something as simple as a piece of string was actually pretty fun. We also got to use the boat simulator. Today was our first night of RAMP aka Hell on Earth. This is a form of discipline for recruits. We are in a stage now where screwing up on a task isn’t just a slap on the wrist, this is the real deal. I hope recruits are alert of this wake-up call. Required knowledge is a must prior to boot camp and getting caught up not knowing your knowledge beforehand can really set you back. I wish the best of luck to my shipmates because RAMP isn’t enjoyable. There will be sweat.


The weekend is here and we are less than a month away from pursing our careers. It’s crazy talking amongst each other about how far we’ve gone to be at this point. Today, our class was about the helm and lookout on a ship. We got to use the simulators again today, and steered our ships using proper terminology and commands. After class, we received 4 recruits reverted from T-189. T-189 formed a week ahead of us, so these recruits we reverted. They are nice but again, this is a wake-up call for our original U-189 recruits. We need to step it up and make better choices because not respecting your CC, or lying can has serious consequences. Our Lead CC had a day off and was called in because of a lack of integrity. I can only imagine how mad he was.

Editor’s Note: This blog post was written by a recruit currently involved in Coast Guard basic training. The thoughts and opinions expressed in this Journal do not necessarily reflect those of Training Center Cape May, the U.S. Coast Guard or the federal government and are the sole opinion of the author. Recruit Journals are written by personnel in a high-stress environment with little time, so please excuse grammar and punctuation in the above article. The staff at Training Center Cape May do not edit the journals in any way, so as to ensure authenticity of the content and messages.